tv NBC Nightly News NBC February 15, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
on the broadcast tonight, the threat from iran over oil and nukes and security around the world. is the u.s. about to get dragged into a new confrontation? state of play. the fight for michigan as mitt romney scrambles to explain to the voters in his home state why he thought the auto industry should be allowed to fail. cape cod mystery. what's happening the dolphins there? tonight, the race to save these magnificent creatures. hop dreams come true. he shoots, he scores, an unlikely hero coming out of nowhere to set the sports world on fire. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
good evening. tensions over iran's nuclear program running hot after the president ahmadinejad made a big show at a tehran nuclear site showing off his country's new hardware, claiming other advances at a second nuclear facility, further proof that iran wants to join the club of nuclear nations, despite global treasure and tough sanctions intended to stop it. while the why wants to play down what iran showed the world today, israel does not. there is a lot of speculation, they are ready to launch an attack that. could put the u.s. in a position it does not want to be here. we have two reports tonight beginning with our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell in our d.c. newsroom. andrea, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. iran did put on a big show today of its supposed nuclear progress. u.s. officials are discounting its claims. even as israel accuses of iran
of terrorism against its diplomats. iran's president mahmoud ahmadinejad today showing off new fuel rods at a nuclear reactor in tehran, a plant that produces medical isotopes and claiming major progress on nuclear centrifugens. >> this is not big news. it seems to have been hyped. >> reporter: what is iran up to? ali arouzi is in iran. >> reporter: the announcement was carried live on state tv and was carefully packaged for foreign and domestic consumption. iran wants to show that it can master nuclear technology on its own and that it will, no matter what the rest of the world says. >> reporter: u.s. officials say iran is blustering while taking a step back from a showdown. today iran said it will finally resume nuclear talks with the
west, negotiations they walked out on a year ago. intelligence officials say they penetrated iran's nuclear programs and they are at least a year or more away from building a weapon. many outside experts agree. >> we don't think they'll break out and build nuclear weapons this year. we are talking about something off in the future. >> reporter: israel says iran could pass the point of no return toward developing a bomb within months. israel is on alert against iranian terrorism, after three explosions in bangkok tuesday and attacks on israeli diplomats in india and the former soviet republic of georgia monday, all blamed by israel on iran. >> this looks like iranian retaliation for killing of iranian scientists over the past two years. >> reporter: most experts believe were killed by israel despite denials. u.s. officials have been shuttling to tel aviv pleading with israel to not attack iran, even as american warships play
cat-and-mouse in the strait of hormuz, the point for 1/5 of the world's oil. janet napolitano told congress that the u.s. knows of no specific or credible threat from iran against the u.s. homeland. at the same time, u.s. officials say if israel were to attack iran, they could retaliate around the world and that could drag the u.s. into the conflict. israel could decide to strike as soon as march or april. >> andrea mitchell starting us off in washington. thanks. that brings us to israel, where despite this u.s. assessment, there is real fear iran is making so much progress on the nuclear front that the next attack could hit home. nbc's stephanie gosk with us from tel aviv tonight. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. people in this country feel that they have the most to fear from a nuclear attack, especially after repeated threats from iranian leaders. there is a heated debate right now over what to do about it,
including whether or not israel should attack iran's nuclear facilities on its own. three separate attacks this week and three separate countries. just a taste of what the world can expect unless iran is stopped. that was the message from israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu after iran's nuclear announcement. he called iran the world's greatest exporter of terrorism. israeli officials made it clear they believe iran orchestrated attacks against diplomats. the same bombs used in india and georgia were found in the bangkok apartmented rented by three iranians. tehran denied the accusations, even though officials vowed the aven avenge for the assassination of iran nuclear scientists, attacks it blames on israel. it is part of what many now call a covert war between the two
countries, triggered by iran's nuclear ambitions. there is a heightened state of alert here in israel and israeli embassies around the world. the real concern is that softer targets could be hit, places like jewish centers and synagogues outside of the country. israel will likely not retaliate yet, said this terrorism expert. instead officials have issued this warning to tehran. >> you are exposed. we know you are responsible. we can take it for now, but we won't. >> reporter: it is just the latest warning in recent weeks. this was a publicized military exercise last month. israeli paratroopers simulated invading a country. are the warnings a prelude to an attack on iran or diplomatic strategy to avoid one? the talk of urinal lateralnilat
died down. netanyahu's talk seemed more of a threat. >> stephanie gosk rounding out our coverage from tel aviv, thanks. in syria, there is a big cloud of smoke over the city of homs where we i've seen one of the deadliest assaults in the ruling regime's crackdown on protestors. an oil pipeline caught fire after being ruptured. we were able to obtain a view from 500 miles up. there are conflicting reports about who is responsible, but is likely the result of almost constant bombardment in that area. a lot of people woke up to the news of a horrendous tragedy in honduras today. nearly 300 people killed in a fire that swept through an aging prison, trapped with no way out. nbc's kerry sanders has our report with fair warning, parts of this are difficult. >> reporter: like trapped animals in cages, prisoners had no escape as the fire raced
through the overcrowded penitentiary. honduran prison officials and inmates who escaped the inferno say the fire was set by an enraged inmate. a local government official says that prisoner called her from a cell phone just moments before setting the blaze and announced he intended to kill everyone. the prison was built in the 1940s. each door on the jail cell requires a key. reports are that guard with those keys could not be found. residents nearby watched helplessly as they listened to the screams of those dying inside. family members tried to break down the prison gates to reach loved ones, only to find hundreds of prisoners dead. kerry sanders, nbc news. back to this country now. once again in this wild gop primary campaign, mitt romney is in a tough spot. as the analysts always like to
point out, he's still the best finance candidate with the best organization, but on top of the fact rick santorum one three of the last four contests, while romney is from michigan, he owns place necessary four other states and these days is working hard to explain why he was against the auto industry bailouts and thought the car company should be allowed to die. that doesn't go over well in the straight we associate with detroit and american cars. peter alexander is in grand rapids tonight. >> reporter: a self-described son of detroit, mitt romney is son of michigan's legendary governors george romney, the sign of an auto executive who proudly claims cars are in his bones. >> detroit auto show with my dad. that was a big deal. i want to make michigan stronger and better. michigan has been my home and this is personal. >> reporter: for adults of a
certain age across this state, romney is a household name dating back a half century. it's one reason romney lost his 2008 presidential bid at the henry ford museum in dearborn, a primary he later won. >> we are celebrating in michigan. >> reporter: romney went years without touting his michigan roots, running for office in massachusetts, first to be senator before later becoming governor. among some diners in grand rapids, the senior romney's political career is a dim memory. >> i'm 46, so, yeah. i was probably in diapers. >> reporter: as for his son? >> he stands for business as usual, honestly, to me. that's what comes to mind first. >> the romney name is familiar, but mitt romney is not well known. he left in the early '70s to go to harvard, to massachusetts in school. >> reporter: romney is fating stiff competition from rick santorum who has appeal here.
at a time when the american auto industry is getting back on its feet. >> people of detroit know a little something about this. >> reporter: and evidenced by this general motor plant in flint adding a third shift last summer. romney renewed his opposition to the auto bailout. >> when general motors got in trouble, instead of having it go through the bankruptcy process where it could come out on its own, perhaps getting help from others from time to time, instead he made sure general motors got handed over to the uaw. >> reporter: a position that may not be shared by many michigan voters. >> to allow the industries that made this state and put this state on the map go under would have been ridiculous. >> reporter: tonight mitt romney is about to begin what he and his aides call a welcome home rally. and his strong roots in the state, the romney campaign with a strong push here showing one morened kags how significant they view a win in this state.
>> peter alexander on the campaign trail in grand rapids. thanks for that. a quick program note. later on "rock center," a story peter mentioned out of the headlines from flint, michigan, where gm restored that overnight shift at its flint assembly plant, a sign of recovery after that big government bailout of the auto industry. they are now running three shifts a day making silverado pick-up trucks. mike taibbi spends time with the men on the shift. president obama was in the midwest today visiting a master lock plant that brought overseas jobs back to the united states. the president pitched his ideas for tax cuts for manufacturing businesses and penalties for companies that move jobs out of the country. tonight, he's on a fund-raising tour of the west coast, eight separate events from lafrm to seattle. the fcc in washington today announced new rules to aim
cutting down from automated calls from telemarketers known as robocalls that interrupted a whole lot of evenings in this country. tom costello with more on this. >> reporter: hi, brian. despite rules already in place to prevent unwanted marketing calls, too many are getting through pitching everything from insurance offers to mortgage refis. the new rules will require telemarketers to could be tan written consent from customers before placing a robocall for them, even if it already has an existing business relationship with the person they are calling. and customers can revoke their consent during the call. how will the new rules be enforced? customers will have to complain. you are still going to get calls from political campaigns and nonprofit organizations. and you will still get informational robocalls like the airline or school calling about a scheduling change. those calls always do seem to come just as you're sitting down for dinner. >> that's right. placid evenings may always be a thing of the past.
tom costello, thanks. still ahead as we continue -- what's happening to the dolphins off cape cod? we check in with the good folks trying hard to solve a mystery. later -- a new hero for everybody who dreamed of making it big. [ male announcer ] this is lois. the day starts with arthritis pain... a load of new listings... and two pills. after a morning of walk-ups, it's back to more pain, back to more pills. the evening showings bring more pain and more pills. sealing the deal... when, hang on... her doctor recommended aleve. it can relieve pain all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is lois... who chose two aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain. [ female announcer ] try aleve d for strong all day sinus and headache relief. that make kids happy. and even fewer that make moms happy too. with wholesome noodles and bite sized chicken, nothing brings you together like chicken noodle soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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that department is currently closed. have i helped you with everything you needed ? if your bank doesn't give you knowledgeable customer service 24/7, you need an ally. ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense. for about the past month, a muddy shallow spot on the cape cod coastline has been the scene of tragedy and mystery, as more than 175 dolphins have beached themselves there experts are racing to try to save those that they can and to try to figure out why it's happening. our report here tonight from our chief environmental affairs correspondent anne thompson. >> reporter: winter reveals cape cod's stark shoreline and the stranding of dolphins. these majestic creatures coming to shore in record numbers, 177 and counting. the vast majority dead.
katie moore of the international fund for animal welfare leads the team identifying, catalogs and in 53 cases, rescuing and releasing the dolphins. along a 35-mile stretch of the cape's interior coastline, the hook shape of the peninsula traps the dolphins in cape cod bay. >> once in the bay, they can't find their way out. >> reporter: here the rise and fall of the tide is dramatic, a difference of 13 feet where we walked. this winter, when the tide goes out, trouble comes in. a half mile offshore, this sand bar is a dolphin graveyard. so far we found six just in this area alone. researchers measure, take samples and tag each and every dolphin, hoping science can't decode the mystery. is there anything on this dolphin that would explain why it's stranded? there are lots of theories. the warm winter is one. when was the last time you saw
ice in the harbor? >> probably three years ago. >> reporter: welsey harbor master has bigger worries. >> it makes you wonder if there is something terribly wrong with the environment. >> reporter: is it a feeding problem or the social nature of the dolphins? from her vantage point high above wellesly, peg needs no explanation. >> it's part of their world and they know what they are doing and we don't. moore says the reason is critical. >> they are sentinels, giving us a glimpse into the health of the ocean ecosystem as a whole and cape cod bay. >> reporter: a boundful ocean keeping the secret to this mystery. ann thompson, nbc news, brewster, massachusetts. up next, we'll show you what happened at the airport checkpoint when a guy thought nobody was looking. we've got to cancel. i've got gas. ooh gas. take an antacid. oh thanks. good luck. good luck to you. doesn't he know antacids won't help gas? oh, he knows. ohhh.
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vehicles are more reliable and owners are holding on to their cars longer. toyota has the drivers are the happiest with. scion and toyota made the top five with porsche and cadillac. lexus most releebl. chrysler brought up the rear with ram, jeep, dodge and chrysler itself named as the least reliable brands. take a good look at the man we are about to show you and ask yourself if you've seen him or if you heard anybody lately bragging about the new rolex they picked up at the airport? this happened at the ft. lauderdale airport. the security video shows a woman goes through, leaves behind a $6,500 rolex. he takes it, looks around, keeps it, and as a result, the tsa would like to find him and the watch. up next, he is living the dream and he's lit the nba on
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he's 23, he's an asian american. his parents came here in taiwan. he went to harvard which has produced many more u.s. presidents than nba stars. jeremy lin came out of nowhere. now he's suddenly dominant. over the last six games he's averaging 27 points and the knicks have won all six. he's become a bona fide global celebrity. while he's not using his degree in economics these days, he is relying on his extraordinary physical gifts and he's been a gift to basketball fans as our own harry smith reports. >> reporter: in real life, good night on the end of the bench, the proverbial last one picked does not come in to save the day. earn the praise of his teammates and adderation of long-suffering fans. not in real life. yet, that is exactly what is happening in new york. jeremy lin, an unheralded, undrafted, unheard of player
from harvard. you heard that right, harvard. >> knicks will win it linsanity continues here. >> reporter: as the knicks on a two-week winning streak, dadsling all who behold with his brilliant passes, gorgeous shots. and doinged determination. the sports world has been spellbound as day by day the lin legend grows. last night with seconds winding down and the score tied -- >> lin puts it up -- in! >> reporter: the winning shot. no one told lin he is not supposed to be able to do that. that the spot he suddenly occupies is reserved for superstars with super salarieses. not even lin is sure this is real. >> can you believe this is happening to you? >> no. >> jeremy lin with a clutch three-pointer. >> reporter: jeremy lin embodies all our folks told us and all we
tell our kids. work hard, be a team player, be ready when the coach says it's your turn. it's the stuff we teach, and now we have reason to believe it. harry smith, nbc news, new york. that's our broadcast on a wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. one more reminder, we are back on the air from here tonight, 9:00 eastern/8:00 central for "rock center. mchlt "i'm brian williams. we hope to see you back here tomorrow. goodhe